- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Argentine envoy resigns
Argentine Ambassador Diego Guelar has resigned his post to return to Argentina to campaign for the re-election of former President Carlos Menem, a political rival of the current president, who appointed Mr. Guelar in January.
Mr. Guelar served a previous term as ambassador here under Mr. Menem and agreed to return under Eduardo Duhalde, who is serving as an interim president and was expected to step down in May.
But Argentina is gripped in a political and economic crisis, and Mr. Guelar said yesterday that he could no longer serve Mr. Duhalde.
"This is the reasonable and honorable thing to do," Mr. Guelar told Embassy Row. "I want to be in Buenos Aires with my hands free."
Mr. Duhalde recently postponed a presidential primary election scheduled for Dec. 15 when he saw that Mr. Menem was the strongest candidate and was likely to win the March 30 election, according to reports in the Argentine press.
Mr. Guelar, whose resignation is effective in 30 days, is hoping that one of his last acts here will be an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to roll over Argentina's staggering foreign debt until December 2003.
"We are close to closing the deal with the IMF," he said.
Without an agreement, Argentina must make an $800 million debt payment by tomorrow. Argentina is suffering under its worst economic crisis, as it faces widespread default on a $141 billion public debt.
Mr. Guelar came to Washington as ambassador during the Clinton administration. He created the "Smiling Beef Club" to promote Argentine beef and named President Clinton and his close adviser, Thomas "Mac" McClarty, charter members.
Mr. Duhalde has appointed Eduardo Amadeo, the deputy chief of his Cabinet, to replace Mr. Guelar.

Exit strategy
Granting President Leonid Kuchma immunity from prosecution could be an "option to consider" if the embattled Ukrainian leader agrees to step down, the head of the country's opposition Socialist Party told a Washington audience yesterday.
Olexander Moroz, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for World Peace, made clear he is determined to see Mr. Kuchma driven from office before the end of his five-year term in 2004, our correspondent David R. Sands reports.
Mr. Moroz cited a string of scandals including the unsolved killing of an investigative journalist and U.S. suspicions that Mr. Kuchma authorized the sale of sophisticated radar systems to Iraq.
"The Ukrainian people should not be held hostage to the criminal activities of the people at the top of the government," Mr. Moroz said, speaking through an interpreter. He argued that the controversies surrounding Mr. Kuchma have slowed Ukraine's hoped-for integration into Europe.
The Bush administration has frozen more than $50 million in bilateral aid and is reviewing other Ukrainian programs as it tries to determine whether the Kuchma government completed the radar sale the president was heard discussing on a secretly recorded tape.
Mr. Moroz said leaders of the anti-Kuchma coalition have not formally discussed an immunity deal.
"It is true some people are talking about this as a possible option, and perhaps it could be one element of a dialogue with the president," he said.
"But we need President Kuchma to enter into a dialogue in the first place, and until that happens, we don't even have the opportunity to discuss such matters."
Mr. Moroz rocked the Kuchma government by first publicizing the secret tapes, made by a military aide to Mr. Kuchma who subsequently sought asylum in the United States. He said he did not know whether the Iraqi radar sale had gone through.
"When the [U.N.] inspectors get to Iraq, then we'll know whether the radar systems are there or not," he said.

Powell to Canada
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is due to leave tomorrow to meet with Canadian Foreign Minister William Graham in his first foreign trip since the U.N. Security Council passed the new Iraq resolution.
Mr. Powell and Mr. Graham are expected to discuss bilateral relations, as well as Iraq and other Middle East issues.

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